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Eagles, No; Buffaloes, Yes
October 06, 2009

No proof one-ounce American Eagle gold or silver collector coins will be produced in 2009 by the U.S. Mint.

The bad news, cleared for release at noon Eastern Daylight time Oct. 6, doesn’t end there.

There will also be:

• No “W” mintmarked uncirculated silver American Eagle collector coins,
• No proof fractional gold American Eagles,
• No “W” uncirculated one-ounce gold American Eagles (the fractionals of this were killed at the end of last year),
• No Uncirculated Dollar Coin Set, which would include a “W” silver American Eagle, and • No platinum American Eagle bullion coins.

But the Mint also gives as well as takes.

Perhaps the most surprising new issues coming are the probable Oct. 15 release of the 2009 gold Buffalo bullion coin and the Oct. 29 release of the proof collector version.

Fractional gold American Eagle bullion coins in tenth-ounce, quarter-ounce and half-ounce weights are scheduled tentatively for release Dec. 3.

A proof one-ounce platinum American Eagle also is scheduled tentatively for release Dec. 3.

The Mint stresses the word “tentatively.”

It is still battling to supply the market with American Eagle bullion coins, which are mandated by law whereas the collector versions are not.

“Because of unprecedented demand for American Eagle gold and silver bullion coins, the United States Mint suspended production of 2009 proof and uncirculated versions of these coins,” it says.

Even though the rationing of the bullion gold and silver American Eagles ended June 15, acquiring adequate supplies of blanks has been an ongoing struggle for the Mint. In light of this, it might perhaps be surprising that the Mint would bother to produce the gold Buffalo coins this year at all.

Those with a lawyer’s eye will spot the exception in the language here: “All available 22-karat gold and silver bullion blanks are being allocated to the American Eagle gold and American Eagle silver bullion coins programs as mandated by Public Law 99-185 and Public Law 99-61, respectively.”

The one-ounce Buffalo gold bullion coins and collector coins are struck on 24-karat gold planchets.

Once again the Mint holds out the hope that the collector coins suspended this year will be returned to production, but now in 2010, as it works “diligently with current and potential blank suppliers to increase the supply of bullion coins blanks.”

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About the Author
David C. Harper has been a coin collector since 1963. He joined the Krause Publications editorial staff in 1978 and is currently editor of Numismatic News and World Coin News. He also edits two books annually, North American Coins & Prices and Coin Digest. He is the author of the Class of '63 column that runs each week in Numismatic News. His first bylined numismatic article appeared in the June 1971 issue of Coins Magazine and his various Krause Publications assignments included a stint as editor of the magazine 1980-1983. Harper received a bachelor of science degree from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in 1977. He had a double major of journalism and economics.

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